There are times when I think I must have South Asian or Hispanic roots. One of these times is summer, when a sweltering heat hits and all my body craves is a juicy mango. My genetics urge me to get my hands on watermelon, figs and tomatoes instead, which I do… when mangoes aren’t available.
This unnatural craving of mine is best satiated with a combination of sweet and savory in this simple salsa. I first made it in college. The details are now wishy washy, but I remember discussing recipes poolside at Townhouse Apartments (anyone? I hear a chuckle…) with a mutual friend who mentioned the basic ingredients: mango, red onion and cilantro. I walked back up to my dinky college apartment and proceeded to mix up a batch with a few tweaks. I salt and pepper my mango. And then my real roots kick in. The Greek in me minces up a couple garlic cloves and adds a dash of olive oil, too. The result is a juicy, addictive combination that scoops up best with blue corn chips or sits most pretty atop a grilled white fish, shrimp or chicken. If you don’t like cilantro, try substituting it with mint. For a sweeter salsa, substitute one mango for a peach or two.
2 mangoes, chopped in small cubes
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
juice of 2 limes
pinch of salt and pepper
dash of olive oil
Cut the bottom of your mangoes to create a flat base. Cut the four sides of the mango along the pit, to get four pieces. In each piece, cut lines horizontally, then crossed vertically to create a grid pattern. Round up the piece of mango and cut the cubes off straight into a bowl.
Add the onion, garlic and cilantro. Add the lime juice and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and a dash of olive oil to let it all stick together. Dig in!